quick "help!" question

Jane Rosenthal janerose at DOLPHIN.UPENN.EDU
Fri Mar 26 16:46:22 UTC 2004

Hi Laura,

You forgot the option of "not...either," e.g. "He
can't go, and I can't either."

I don't have time to give a quick rule for this, but
I suggest Michael Swan's "Practical English Usage"(1995)
as a great reference book that gives nice explanations
and examples.  I have suggested this book to several
ESL students who love it.  It is very accessible and
easy to read (at least I think so).  I also like the
idea of giving students resources and challenging
them to look it up and report it to the class or have
the class investigate it together through brainstorming
and/or research.  I think it helps keep the conversation
going and helps in retaining the information (I think
a quick explanation by the teacher doesn't always

If you want a linguistic answer, I am sure I can come
up with one later...

Take care,

In a message dated 3/26/2004 12:02:54 AM Eastern Standard Time,
sicola at dolphin.upenn.edu writes:

> In my advanced grammar class, I've been working with my ESL students on
> agreement with words like "neither" "either" "both" etc.
> Some of them are having a hard time distinguishing and rationalizing the
> differences between:
> 1.  "Neither Bob nor Joe studied." = Bob didn't and Joe didn't (either).
> 2.  "Either Bob or Joe didn't study." = One studied, the other didn't, we
> don't know which one is which.
> 3.  "Both Bob and Joe didn't study." = Could have the same meaning as #1, OR
> #2, ie: not BOTH, just one.
> Can anyone more syntactically savvy help me with a more
> logical/mathematical/graphic (and SIMPLE) representation of why this is the
> case? The more I try to explain it, the more we go in circles and the more I
> start to question my own name.
> At this point, I'm not sure I even wrote these correctly in
> this e-mail!
> Thanks to anyone who has the magic bullet...
> Laura
> --

Jane Rosenthal
Instructor, Office of Learning Resources
University of Pennsylvania
3820 Locust Walk, 110 Harnwell House
Philadelphia, PA 19104
janerose at dolphin.upenn.edu

Program Evaluator for ESOL & Bilingual Programs
The School District of Philadelphia
Office of Research & Evaluation
Administration Building, Room 414
2120 Winter Street
Philadelphia, PA  19103
jlrosenthal at phila.k12.pa.us

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